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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 453



no small fleet of ships to the city of Rouen, and having burnt and plundered it, they made a massacre of the people. From thence they proceeded to the inland parts of Gaul, and destroyed the whole country from the city of Orleans, throughout the whole district of Lutetia,1 as far as Paris, with inhuman cruelty. Then they took up a station for their ships by a certain island in the neighbourhood of the monastery of Saint Florence, and laid waste the whole province all around. They also gave the city of Nantes to theflames ; and traversing the district of Anjou, and polluting every place with bloodshed, they laid it waste, as also they did all the cities and castles of Poitou. Last of all, they came to the city of Tours, which they defiled with the massacre of innocent persons, and at last committed the city to the flames. Then sailing on towards the upper part of the river Loire, they came to Orleans, which they stripped of everything, and then, they destroyed the city by fire. Why should I relate the afflictions of the people of Aquitaine, in which province no town, no village, no city no castle, was either left in the enjoyment of its freedom, or escaped destruction from the deadly fury of the pagans ? The people of Poitiers and of Guienne, the towns of Angoulême, of Perigueux, of Limoges, of Auvergne, and of Bourges, the metropolis of the province of Aquitaine, bear witness to these facts. The Gauls, therefore, having been overwhelmed and worn out by these and similar disasters, as we have already explained, Hastein, that most infamous robber, coming with bis fleet to the city of Poitiers, formed the design of obtaining possession of it by a sudden attack. But the citizens being alarmed at so numerous a fleet of the pagans, garrisoned the ramparts of the walls, armed with shields and javelins, and encouraged one another to resist the attack. And when Hasting found out how brave they were, he put forth all his endeavours to obtain possession of the city, if possible. At last, he sent word by his servants to the bishop of the city, and to the count, that he was attacked by a mortal disease, and he humbly entreated them that he might be made a Christian by them. When they heard this, the bishop and the count, being cheered with great joy, made peace with the enemy of peace, and so the entrance to the city is opened to Lutetia is the usual name of Paris, but it seems here to be used for the district rather than for the city.


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